Are you challenged to find the perfect storage system for your warehouse? There’s a lot to keep in mind when selecting the right racking solution. Space, cost, durability, and workflow are just a few of the things you need to think about when making your decision. When you account for all the different factors that affect your racking system, you can get a clearer idea of your needs and specifications. Make choosing, implementing, and maintaining your storage solution easier than ever with our buyer’s guide on what to consider in warehouse racking systems.

New vs. Used: Pros and Cons

To buy new or to buy used? This is one of the biggest considerations to make for any kind of equipment purchase. There are benefits and drawbacks to both options, and the right choice will differ depending on your warehouse environment and what your workflow looks like.

New racking systems offer greater flexibility. It’s easier to start from scratch with new racking systems because there are no limitations from existing equipment or integration challenges. However, integrating new equipment with an existing system is a viable option and easy to do, especially when your specifications are standard and your existing equipment is in good condition. However, today’s environment presents longer lead times for new equipment and could compromise improvements with extended production and delivery delays.

Used racking systems, on the other hand, are a cost-effective way of expanding your storage. Used systems are a good fit when your specifications are flexible or when color and exact match are not top priorities. Used equipment is generally available immediately. Used rack systems can be a challenge to find, especially when a large volume of equipment is needed. Few distributors and integrators have used equipment on-hand. It is critical to see pictures of the used equipment before purchasing, and inspecting in person is always the best option. RMH Systems is one of the few systems integrators that buy used equipment on a very selective basis. RMH thoroughly inspects used equipment before selling it and will ensure the specifications and capacity are right for your system.

Think Vertically

One of the great benefits of racking systems is that they take advantage of your vertical space. Analyze the layout of your warehouse and think about how you can best use that vertical space. Do you need extra work space as well as more storage space? If so, a mezzanine or work platform is a great solution for adding a second level to your warehouse. On the other hand, if you need to prioritize storage space over everything else, you’ll want to look into vertical shelving units and other forms of high-density storage for your space. And don’t forget to “look up.”

Know Your Load Ratings and Rack Capacity

Safety is an essential part of your warehouse. As such, one of the most crucial considerations to make when choosing a racking system is the rack’s load capacity. Your racking system must meet the demands of your highest workloads, including loading and unloading conditions.

The total load rating of a pallet racking unit is the sum of the load rating of each of the beams, uprights, and other parts. However, keep in mind that damage to a single part of the system reduces the overall load rating and overall integrity. As such, it’s crucial to understand loaded pallet or material size, weight, and dimensions when choosing your racking system.

It’s also important to note that uniform weight distribution isn’t always possible when you’re working on and around your racking system. If you know your workflow will create load fluctuations, be sure to choose a racking system that can handle the uneven weight distribution.

Look at Safety Features

Load ratings are an essential part of safety, but there are other details you can look for as well. Adequate lighting solutions are a simple yet effective way to illuminate your inventory and minimize forklift accidents and other safety concerns in your warehouse. Protecting your equipment using guard rails, column guards, and end-of-row guards will ensure your racking systems’ overall integrity is not compromised by accidental impact damage.

The Benefits of Automation

Automated material flow and handling is a great way to streamline your workflow. Many upstream, midstream, and end of line processes like storage and retrieval, case erectors and sealers, print and apply, picking and packing, and pallet wrapping processes benefit from automation. Automated storage systems can also make storing, rearranging, and retrieving pallets faster and more accurate than ever before. There are many different ways to implement automation into your warehouse, all of which improve efficiency, reduce human error, and free up your employees to focus on other, more valuable tasks.

Basic Types of Racking Systems

Now that we’ve covered what to consider in warehouse racking systems, this buyer’s guide will discuss the basic types of racking systems available. All storage solutions have at least minor differences that set them apart from other systems and enable them to suit the specific needs and designs of your warehouse. However, there are a few key solutions to learn about before making your decision.

Selective Pallet Rack

Selective pallet racking systems are a simple and versatile solution to increase storage and preserve accessibility throughout your warehouse. These storage solutions optimize your space through optimizing number of bays and levels, decking, and other accessories. At the same time, all products are visible and accessible, making storage and retrieval easy. Selective pallet racks are straightforward, effective, and customizable, making them an ideal, versatile solution for nearly any space.

Double-Deep Pallet Rack

If you want to maximize floor space while expanding your storage, double-deep pallet racks might be right for you. By placing a second row of storage behind the first, double-deep racks cut down on the number of aisles you need, giving you more room for both storage and traffic flow. Keep in mind that double-deep storage solutions require specific trucks or forklifts to access the second row of storage.

Pallet Shuttles

Pallet shuttles are automated systems that handle storing, rearranging, and retrieving inventory. These systems combine high-density storage and automation for a comprehensive solution that supports high throughput and rotation. If your warehouse needs to maximize both storage and product movement in a limited space, pallet shuttles are a worthwhile solution.

Push-Back Rack

Push-back racking systems utilize gravity to create a last-in-first-out storage solution. Pallets sit in rail systems. Placing a pallet pushes the others in that aisle back while retrieving the latest pallet allows the others to fall forward into place. Push-back racking systems are a great high-density storage solution for warehouses that don’t need to prioritize rotation.

Pallet Flow Rack

Similar to push-back racking systems, pallet flow racks use gravity to move pallets to the picking area. However, pallet flow racks are a first-in-first-out system. By placing pallets at the back of the rack and letting them flow to the pick face, these systems offer high-density storage while preserving rotation ability.

You don’t have to choose your warehouse pallet racking system alone. Contact RMH Systems today and let our experts help you choose the perfect system for your warehouse needs.